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I Just Want Her Close

Story ID:9923
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
Person:Elizabeth and Preston
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I Just Want Her Close

My blond-haired, blue-eyed, four-year-old granddaughter hugged me. “I’ll miss you
living with us, Poppa Mike.”

Ginny and I lived with Elizabeth, her three brothers, Ginny’s daughter and our son-in-law
for two years. There were times when it was tough, but mostly we were all happy.

The day came.
We were near the end of our lease. The landlord decided to move back from Alaska and
take back their house. We decided to go separate ways. Ginny and I rented an apartment.
Heather, Nathan and the kids rented a house only a few miles from us.

Gin and I helped them move into the house. A small boy, five years old stood by the
house next door. He watched the activities with interest. Perhaps a dear friend just moved from
the house. Maybe he hoped for another.

His worry didn’t last long. He and four-year-old Elizabeth were soon talking and playing
as the adults worked.

For two years, Elizabeth and Preston were best friends. When Ginny and I visited, we’d
hear knocks on the front door. “Can Lizzy come out to play?”

Life changes.

Heather, Nathan and our grandchildren moved once again. This time they moved to
California. As we moved them, I saw Preston by his house watching us. His friend was
leaving. He was heartbroken. Elizabeth and Preston said a final goodbye. There were no
tears. They were brave and hid their emotions.

After a year, the family returned to Idaho for a quick visit. The kids stayed with us in
our apartment for a couple days. Heather and Nathan stayed with his aunt.

On their free day, the boys made arrangements to meet with their friends at the local
pool. Heather called Preston’s mom to let them know where they would be and hoped she
could bring Preston to see Elizabeth. She got a generic voicemail and wondered if Preston’s
family moved.
Heather never received a return call.

Elizabeth looked forward to seeing her friend again. She was devastated, when they
didn’t call.

The family and the boy’s friends played in the shallow and deep ends of the huge
Caldwell pool. Some bounced off the various diving boards, showing off for their friends
and any young lady who might notice.

The boys were maturing.

“Mom, I wish Preston were here.”

“I know, Lizzy. Don’t give up. He might show up yet. Go play.”

Elizabeth played in the shallow end of the pool. A small boy’s head bobbed in the
water, headed in her direction. “Lizzy! Lizzy!”

Elizabeth screamed, “Preston!”

The two friends, now six and seven years old, were together again.

It was a brief meet, but it was enough to regenerate their young love and make
a couple of parents smile.

Before they parted, Preston’s mom said to Heather, “He’s waiting for Elizabeth to move
back. Preston’s been looking for houses for you to move into. He found one down the street from

“That’s so cute.” Heather said and meant it.

“He told me, ‘Mom, it’s not next door, but that’s OK. I can walk. I just want her close.’”

Michael T. Smith